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Government Undermines Bargaining to Reduce Pay, Conditions

Government Undermines Bargaining to Reduce Pay and Conditions

The Council of Trade Unions today slams another attack by the National Government on workers’ pay and conditions.

Helen Kelly, CTU President, says “the Government has a responsibility to promote collective bargaining. Instead they are undermining it and they know this will further reduce pay and conditions for New Zealand workers.”

“I call on other parties in Parliament to unite to defeat these attacks.”

“We have seen over 53,000 people leave for Australia in the last year. We need a law that can lift pay and conditions through industry standard agreements rather than another round of attacks on worker’ rights.”

Helen Kelly said that the changes are not minor, but significant.

The removal of the duty to conclude collective bargaining will be seen as the ‘Port of Auckland clause’ because the Government knows that the port wanted to abandon collective bargaining and instead contract out.

“And removing the 30 day protection for new workers when they start a job in a workplace with a collective agreement is heartless,” she said. “It is making vulnerable workers even more vulnerable.”

“The deductions from workers’ pay for partial strike action is another attack on the rights of workers. It is designed to force workers either into a full strike or to abandon any action. It is punitive and one-sided when the major industrial relations problems we face are extensive lockouts.”

Helen Kelly said that recent research has shown that inequality is lowest where unions are prevalent.

“We don’t believe these changes are good for business. We are calling on businesses with modern workplace approaches and who work well with workers and their unions to oppose these changes with us.”

ENDS

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